1. KIPO continuously expands the providing of IP data
According to the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), IP data will be expanded throughout the year by the mass IP information providing service (KIPRISPlus) and the free IP search service (KIPRIS), to strengthen the IP information accessibility and utility by people and companies.
KIPRIS is an IP information search service enabling anyone to search and view, without cost, Korean and foreign IP-related information held by KIPO. KIPRISPlus is an IP information utilizing service providing mass data of Korean and foreign IP information held by KIPO by the Open API and bulk data methods.
In order to easily understand the local IP information when a Korean company advances overseas, on February 27, 2017 KIPO started providing Russian and Columbian patent publication through the KIPRISPlus. KIPO will sequentially open the foreign IP data including Chinese design registration publications, Swedish patent information, Japanese design and trademark publications, etc. The information which will be newly provided includes Japanese design registration information, published trademark applications, trademark registration information, Chinese design registration publication, Columbian, Swedish and Russian patent information.
For Korean IP data, the information of technical fields by the right of an applicant (corporate), the history information of name changes of an applicant (corporate) and the information of a notice of registration will be opened the second half of this year. The information of technical fields by the right of an applicant (corporate) is especially expected to be used to comprehend the technological trends of companies having excellent technologies and the statistical analysis thereof.
2. The State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) of the People’s Republic of China revised the trademark examination and trial standards
A Korean clothing company had prepared for advancing into China since its products had been popular with Chinese tourists after its business foundation was established in Korea. During the preparation, the company found that a local entity preoccupied the company’s main trademark. Although the company considered legal action, it could not help receiving the trademark at a cost of 50,000 Yuan (approximately 9,000,000 Korea Won) based on an expert’s advise that there was no way to win.
Like this, the number of trademarks of Korean companies that have difficulties with trademark preoccupancy in China is over 1,000.
However, in the future, a Korean company’s legal measures are expected to be far easier to get back the company’s right preoccupied in China since SAIC newly reflected in the ‘trademark examination and trial standards’ the standards to judge invalidity against a trademark broker’s vicious act of preoccupying a trademark.
Although the previous trial standards included a provision to protect a person/corporate having a first-to-use right against an act of preoccupying, for an illegal profit, a trademark that a person/cooperate has already used in China and that has some influence, this provision was of no help to Korean companies.
However, in the trial standards published by SAIC in January this year, after an applicant obtains rights regarding a number of trademarks, if the applicant actually neither uses the trademarks nor prepares for use and the applicant recommends purchases of the trademarks and requests a large amount of transfer fees, it is possible to judge invalidity of the trademarks by considering that the applicant lacks intent to use the trademarks.
3. The number of hybrid·electric automobile-related trademark applications filed in 2016 rapidly increased
The number of trademark applications related to hybrid automobiles and electric automobiles which lead the next-generation environmentally friendly automobiles reached 148 in 2016, with an increase of 48% compared to 2015.
According to KIPO, the number of trademark applications related to hybrid automobiles and electric automobiles, which are the next-generation environmentally friendly automobiles, was 45 in 2012, 57 in 2013, 94 in 2014, 100 in 2015 and 148 in 2016, recording an annual average increase of 36% for the past five years.
The company with 1st place in ranking the number of the hybrid and electric automobile-related trademark applications filed for the latest five years was Hyundai Motor with 60 applications, followed by GM Korea with 12. The cumulative number of the relevant trademark applications was 64 for Hyundai Motor and 18 for Kia Motors.
The number of the hybrid and electric automobile-related trademark applications is expected to increase because of the technological development.
4. Patent applications related to Internet of Things (IoT) outlet including sensors and communication functions are actively filed
According to KIPO, the number of the applications for the IoT outlet which the communication function is applied to a power automatic block outlet has steadily increased.
The number of all applications in the power automatic block outlet field totals 634 for the last five years (2012~2016). Of this total number, the number of the Iot outlet-related applications was 39 in 2012, 36 in 2013, 52 in 2014, 56 in 2015 and 75 in 2016, totaling 258 for the last five years.
A power automatic block outlet is able to automatically turn on or turn off the power in a specific situation by sensing a current flowing through the outlet.
Recently, the communication technology is added to the power automatic block outlet, so that the outlet at home is remotely controlled by a smart phone out of the home, presenting technology to control the power of electric appliances connected to the outlets. Specially, this technology is expected to be useful for a smart home.